The Perfect Time to Visit the Rockies
Fall in the Colorado high country welcomes gorgeous foliage and travel deals for the perfect trip
Photography by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
I’ve written about it before, in many places and will do so again many times—the fall season is one of the best, if not the best, season to travel in Colorado. There are several reasons for this, but first and foremost, there are the great travel deals this time of year.
Planning a mountain getaway before ski season starts means excellent hotel deals and food specials at all the best resorts and restaurants in Colorado.
I recently spent the weekend in Vail where some restaurants had switched from their standard menu to their fall specials, which meant savings for us. We had dinner at La Tour, a restaurant I’ve been eyeing for years. This French bistro has a wine list that’s been lauded by Wine Spectator.
La Tour is currently offering 25% off selected bottles of their extensive wine list as well as a $25/entree deal. We ordered a bottle of California Red, the escargot and shared the seafood fideuà, which was a tasty paella served in a cast iron skillet.
In addition to fall restaurant specials in Vail, resorts offer specials that will save guests hundreds of dollars at some lovely properties. The best way to find out about these specials is to sign up for emails from the hotels in Vail. Another way to discover deals in Vail is to check each property’s website or call the property to ask about what hotel specials are available for fall.
This is also restaurant week in places like Vail and Steamboat Springs. I have friends who live in Steamboat and the locals eagerly anticipate this week all year. This is their opportunity to try several restaurants that may be out of reach financially during the rest of the year. This year’s restaurant week in Vail and Steamboat end on October 7, but it’s something to consider when planning Colorado travel.
Many restaurant weeks occur in the spring, or mud season, as locals call it. After the ski season is another ideal travel time as well for travelers looking for deals.
Deals aren’t the only reason that I love to travel in the fall. Traffic along Colorado mountain routes like Hwy 285 and I-70 tend to thin out during this time of year. The weather remains beautiful and yet popular trails are less crowded now than they were just a few weeks ago.
I travel around Colorado all year but my birthday is in October and that means I’ve been traveling in the fall long before I became a travel writer. Years ago, I remember waking up in Leadville, during one October birthday trip, to six-inches of snow on the ground. That snow was so beautiful, and it’s the one thing I always remember about the weekend.